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Middlemen fleecing Small and Medium Enterprises farmers: Zulfikar Thaver

Karachi, August 06 2013 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) against the cartel of middlemen operating more as money lenders than as professional middlemen or facilitators in the commodities market. The cartel is dominating the rice,wheat,maize, spices and sugar supply chains and controlling prices by manipulating the markets.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that the SME farmers are fleeced by the middlemen who take huge profits from the SME farmers and control their activities by subduing them with advance money for purchase of seeds, fumigation and fertilizers and dictate them at the time of harvesting by compelling them to hand over the produce at deliberately lowered rates.

Unfortunately only National Bank of Pakistan and Zaria Tarakiyati Bank are financing the farmers and in many cases the banks are financing landlords under agricultural loans quota but the money is used to buy big vehicles rather than farm machinery or modernization he added.

He informed the CCP that UNISAME to overcome the harsh treatment of the middlemen is in contact with a collateral management company of international repute and is in the process of signing memorandum of understanding with them to liberate the SME farmers and processors from the clutches of the middlemen.

The union requested support of the CCP to liberate the SME farmers and urged CCP to conduct an inquiry and confirm the malpractice to the ministries of commerce, finance and agriculture to enable them formulate rules and regulations to discourage the tendency.

He said the union is in the process of introducing collateral management of produce items to enable the SME farmers stock the produce till delivery to the millers and onwards to the processors and then to the exporters.

He said the collateral management company will support the entire supply chain with bank financing arranged by the company under their certification and custody for smooth transfers of the produce from buyer to seller including overseas buyers through efficient logistics.

The union has urged the CCP to take notice of the speculative behavior of the commodities cartel and defuse it in national interest and to lower prices of commodities for the benefit of the common man.

For more information, Contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Phones: + 92 35884225 and 6
Cell: + 92 300 8245307 and + 92 321 8245307
Fax: + 92 35380642
Email: unisame@gmail.com

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